Jewish Education

Virtually Developing: Exploring the Potential and Pitfalls of Online Professional Development and Adult Learning

– by Rosov Consulting

January 21st, 2021

During summer and fall 2020, Rosov Consulting engaged in a multifaceted study of 13 Jewish adult learning and professional development programs that shifted their offerings online due to COVID-19 (nine are part of the Jim Joseph Foundation Professional Development Initiative, four are from other Jim Joseph Foundation grantees). In the first stage of our research, they interviewed program providers about the challenges they faced in moving to online learning, the positive “silver linings” of the virtual experience, and the longer-term impacts of reimagining how they do their work. In the second stage, they explored the experiences of and impacts on program participants through a survey of more than 1,600 participants and follow-up interviews with 14 of them.

The programs included both those specifically for educators and Jewish professionals as well as general adult Jewish learning open to all. Rosov Consulting sought to understand the personal and professional impacts of online learning; the strengths and limitations of the experience, particularly as compared to in-person learning; and what facilitates and impedes learning through virtual modalities.

Virtually Developing: Exploring the Potential and Pitfalls of Online Professional Development and Adult Learning” (executive summary), Rosov Consulting, January 2021

Virtually Developing: Exploring the Potential and Pitfalls of Online Professional Development and Adult Learning” (full report), Rosov Consulting, January 2021

View a webinar on these learnings hosted by Jewish Funders Network with Mark Horowitz of Jewish Community Centers of North America (JCCs), Meredith Woocher of Rosov Consulting, and Stacie Cherner of the Jim Joseph Foundation.